Forlorn Visitations // Nat Cann
Exhibition Dates: September 16 – October 21, 2022
Opening Reception: Friday September 16 @ 5-8pm
Virtual artist talk: Saturday September 17 @ 1pm CST
ASL interpretation will be provided and live captions will be enabled.
This talk is free to attend and open to the public.
Exhibition Text by Roewan Crowe.
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Martha Street Studio is pleased to present Forlorn Visitations, a solo exhibition by Nat Cann (NB).
Forlorn Visitations is an examination into the depths of New Brunswick, the backroads and little lost places within central Atlantic Canada, the places not along the more tourist-oriented coast, as well as a collection of other visitations made during nationwide residencies. Everything from the playful exploration of Calgary’s need for coffee to fuel the fuel industry to the haunting past of Canada’s involvement in WW2 interments camps. It is as much a celebration of Canadian living as it is a critical deposition on colonial acts.
Artist Statement //
In early 2020, before the world had its collective breakdown, Nat Cann traveled to the Magdalen Islands of Quebec for a two week residency wherein a series of work was fashioned regarding the haunting of the isles, a place of things well painted. The intention with this residency was to find a spirit, that which draws people to places of expulsion, cold waters and winds. In the end, it was a mixture of everything sprinkled in francophone cultural via the Acadian expulsion, and how said migration has claimed this land; particularly, the many lush houses of untameable colors. Houses not painted to match their wild surroundings, rather, to emulate them. And this idea extends to (almost) every corner of the isles. From their boats to the dog’s house, everything has a style all its own, a culture formed and finalized. It was this uncovering of an archipelago’s haunting that sparked an expanding career of residencies and print.
Well Painted Places, the Magdalen visitation, was co-funded through ArtsNB’s Career Development AiR grant and swiftly followed by Adrift, a response to the withering coasts of the Atlantic; and Stelae & Stoic, two printed installations inquiring into places whose settler history/industrial narrative has been either upheld or repurposed for the needs of new industries and leisure. These works lead to more residencies in relation to the original Magdalen visitation, and so on and so on. What has accumulated over the past few years has been a collection of residency works wherein, and in chagrin to the pandemic, a similar methodology has been told, visitations to multiple different places so as to document and uncover what haunts said location. Be it Calgary’s coffee culture fuelling the fuel industry or Port Union, Newfoundland’s simple existence as a collection of lonely red boxes, every town has a tale to tell.
Artist Bio //
Nat Cann (he/him) is a printmaker focused upon the haunting of lands – ideologies and industries keeping afloat Canadian notions of colonial heritage. This printed matter, often a mix of past and present examined through modern photography and archival photos is paired with installation as a means to further query the haunting of a place. Nat’s work has been exhibited across Canada and has been consistently supported by ArtsNB’s funding programs and the Canada Council for the Arts. Nat obtained his BFA from Mount Allison University (2012) and now resides in Saint John, New Brunswick, a colonial coastal city upon the unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik peoples.
Nat can be found online at nattcann.com and on Instagram at @nattcann